Butler moves to purchase building | Butler Bulletin

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BUTLER — After a couple of attempts, the Butler City Council approved 2023 salaries for elected and appointed officials Monday.

Salaries for the mayor, clerk-treasurer, city judge and individual council members will remain the same as 2022. Mayor Mike Hartman will be paid $20,000. Clerk-Treasurer Angela Eck will be paid $52,000. City Judge Richard Obendorf will be paid $24,950. The five council members will be paid $5,500 each.

Last month, by a 3-2 vote, the council defeated a proposal that would have given a 4% raise to the clerk-treasurer and city judge.

City Attorney Cedric Hollabaugh will be paid a $31,928 retainer for his work, an increase from $30,700 in 2022. By ordinance, he will charge $175 per hour for all special work, including for the Board of Zoning Appeals, Plan Commission, Redevelopment Commission, utility department and any other boards, grants, litigation and other work for the city.

The revised ordinance passed by a 3-1 vote, with council members Mark Cline, Tracey Hawkins and Bill White in favor and Eric Johnson against. At the Oct. 17 meeting, Johnson had voted in favor of the defeated ordinance.

In other business, by another 3-1 vote — with Johnson again voting no — the council approved the second reading of an ordinance that would allow off-road vehicles and golf carts to operate on Butler streets.

A public hearing will take place at the council’s Nov. 21 meeting prior to the ordinance being considered on third and final reading. District 3 council member Darren Alloway was not present Monday.

By 4-0 votes, the council approved recommendations from the city’s Economic Development Commission to grant a vacant building deduction and four-year tax abatement to Sebert Oil Co.

The Butler business, currently located on South Broadway, has purchased the former Indiana Michigan Power building at 510 W. Main St. According to a plan reviewed Monday, Sebert plans an 1,800-square-foot addition to the building.

The real property tax abatement would be 100% in years one and two, 75% in year three and 25% in the final year. Sebert will be required to submit remodeling and improvement plans before any permits will be issued, City Planner Vivian Likes said.

In two actions, both unanimously, the City Council approved an additional appropriation of $70,000 and to take the first steps to purchase the property at 101 E. Main St. The property is currently home to a martial arts studio and was once home to a Standard Oil gas station, Meyer Furniture and R&R Fitness in its lifetime.

After the meeting, Hartman said the city is hopeful to acquire it and the adjacent vacant building that once housed Engineered Materials.

“The reason we went after that property is we’re trying to get Engineered Materials,” Hartman said. “We felt if we’re able to acquired Engineereed Materials, we really should try to control that whole corner.

“I don’t know what the future is on it, but you don’t want to have one building and not the other,” he said. “If you have any big plans come down the pipeline and you only had one property and not the other, I just don’t think that’s going to be good for the city trying and move forward on any decent projects.”

Before the acquisition can happen, the city must order two separate appraisals of 101 E. Main St. Hollabaugh said the purchase price can’t exceed the average of those appraisals.

Code Enforcement Officer Mike Fry submitted his October report.

There were two tall grass violations, one mowed by the city and one by the homeowner. There were 10 notices of expired plates on vehicles, with all 10 updated or moved. Two curbside trash notices were issued, with both moved. One homeowner was issued a warning of the need of a work permit. A report of a person camping in a vehicle has been resolved, he said.